First Impressions: Prepare for the invasion of the locust horde once more.
For a game that was hyped as the new Halo, Gears of War had a hell of a lot to live up to when it was released on the Xbox 360 in November of last year. But by Christmas it was obvious the hard work from the dudes at Epic paid off ? if you connected to Xbox Live and looked at your friends list, almost everyone was playing the game. But really, the game turned out awesome and now, nearly a year later, it's coming to PC with exclusive content and will be opened up to a whole new audience.
First things first, Gears of War on the PC will not
be a port of the 360 version. It will have all the content from the 360 version including all the current downloadable content, but it will also have new multiplayer maps, a new multiplayer game mode, a map editor and five brand new single player chapters. The new single player chapters are designed to lengthen the otherwise short game and will bridge the gap between acts four and five, taking place after the escape from the mansion up to the arrival at the train station. This new content is called Timgad representing the city it's going to take place in and is going to be action packed. Granted that sounds like a PR line, but it really will be a huge addition to the game ? a whole new boss battle against the Brumak (which, if you played the 360 version, is the huge beast you escape from at the end of act four) and lots and lots of locusts.
The new content will add another hour or so of gameplay, and bear in mind that's on the casual difficulty level. Crank up the action to hardcore or insane and you can expect a lot more playtime and, while you're at it, a considerable amount of frustration. Other than this though, it's more or less business as usual in the single player game mode since GoW's main new features for the PC version weigh in on the multiplayer end. There will be 19 multiplayer maps for starters and you can fight in them in any of the existing game modes as well as the new King of the Hill mode which, rather unsurprisingly, is the same as it is in just about every other shooter. Similar to the Annex game mode, players must take control over certain points of the map and hold it for two minutes, which sounds simple enough.
Luckily you won't need to subscribe to the Games For Windows service to enjoy GoW online because multiplayer will be free since there is a lack of cross-platform multiplayer. It still supports Games For Windows though so you'll be able to unlock more Gamer Points for your profile like the dirty little score whore you are.
The visuals in GoW on PC are set to surpass those of the 360 version (which you should have rightly expected from a game releasing around a year after it on another platform) with an even higher resolution, better textures and the like. The system requirements aren't anywhere near those of upcoming shooter Crysis, so don't worry, you should be able to play the game fine. Similarly the game won't need to run on Windows Vista and will work wonders on an XP-operated PC.
So, with brand new content to enjoy and hours of extended gameplay time in both the single and multiplayer modes, Gears of War on PC is shaping up to be a box of joy. Look out for the game hitting the shelves in November and get planning for owning some noobs online in time for Christmas.